1923 Irish general election

The 1923 Irish general election was held on 27 August 1923 and was the first general election in the Irish Free State established the previous December. The newly elected members of the 4th Dáil assembled at Leinster House on 19 September when the new President of the Executive Council and Executive Council of the Irish Free State were appointed. The election was held just after the end of the Irish Civil War. Many of the Republican TDs, who represented the losing anti-Treaty side, were still imprisoned during and after the election and had committed to not participating in the Dáil even if elected. Cumann na nGaedheal, who represented the winning side in the war, also won the election and formed the government.[1]

1923 Irish general election

27 August 1923

All 153 seats in Dáil Éireann
77 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Leader W. T. Cosgrave Éamon de Valera
Party Cumann na nGaedheal Republican
Leader since April 1923 1917
Leader's seat Carlow–Kilkenny Clare
Last election 58 seats 36 seats
Seats won 63 44
Seat change 5 8
Popular vote 410,695 288,794
Percentage 39.0% 27.4%

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Denis Gorey Thomas Johnson
Party Farmers' Party Labour Party
Leader since 1922 1922
Leader's seat Carlow–Kilkenny Dublin County
Last election 7 seats 16 seats
Seats won 15 14
Seat change 8 3
Popular vote 127,184 111,939
Percentage 12.1% 10.6%

Percentage of seats gained by each of the three major parties, and number of seats gained by smaller parties and independents.

President of the Executive Council before election

W. T. Cosgrave
Cumann na nGaedheal

Subsequent President of the Executive Council

W. T. Cosgrave
Cumann na nGaedheal


4th Irish general election 27 August 1923[2][3][4]
Party Leader Seats ± % of
First Pref
% FPv ±%
Cumann na nGaedheal W. T. Cosgrave 63[5] +5 41.2 410,695 39.0 +0.5
Republican Éamon de Valera 44[5] +8 28.7 288,794 27.4 +5.6
Farmers' Party Denis Gorey 15 +8 9.8 127,184 12.1 +4.3
Labour Party Thomas Johnson 14 3 9.2 111,939 10.6 10.7
Businessmen's Party N/A 2 +2 1.3 9,648 0.9 1.4
Cork Progressive Association N/A 2[6] New 1.3 6,588 0.6 New
National Democratic Party N/A 0 New 0 4,968 0.5 New
Dublin Trades Council P. T. Daly 0 New 0 3,847 0.4 New
Ratepayers' Association N/A 0 ±0 0 2,620 0.2 0.2
Town Tenants' Association N/A 0 New 0 1,803 0.2 New
Independent N/A 13 +4 8.5 85,869 8.1 +0.3
Spoilt votes 40,047
Total 153 +25 100 1,094,002 100
Electorate/Turnout 1,786,318 61.3%
  • Cumann na nGaedheal minority government formed.

Most parties made gains, in part because the total number of seats in the Dáil was increased by 25 from 128 to 153. Cumann na nGaedheal were able to form a minority government while Republicans (Anti-Treaty) abstained from taking their seats in the Dáil.

Lax electoral practices were tightened up beforehand by the new The Prevention of Electoral Abuses Act, 1923.[7]

Voting summary

First preference vote
Cumann na nGaedheal
Cork Progressive Association

Seats summary

Dáil seats
Cumann na nGaedheal
Cork Progressive Association

First time TDs

Outgoing TDs

See also



  • Department of Local Government and Public Health (July 1924). Memorandum on the conduct of the general election to Dáil Éireann held on the 27th August, 1923 (PDF). Dublin. Retrieved 2 February 2018.


  1. Hopkinson, Michael (1988). Green Against Green: The Irish Civil War. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. p. 262. ISBN 0-7171-3760-0. Despite the absence of many Sinn Féin candidates and workers in jail, the results were surprising good for the Republicans. Cumann na nGaedheal, the newly formed government party, had 63 candidates elected, compared with 44 Republicans.
  2. "4th Dáil 1923 General Election". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  3. "Dáil elections since 1918". ARK Northern Ireland. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  4. Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, pp1009-1017 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  5. Cumann na nGaedheal's results are compared with those of the Pro-Treaty faction of Sinn Féin in the previous general election. Results given for Republicans here are compared to those won by the Anti-Treaty faction of Sinn Féin in the previous election.
  6. Andrew O'Shaughnessy and Richard Beamish were elected under the label of Cork Progressive Association, a group associated with the Businessmen's Party.
  7. "The Prevention of Electoral Abuses Act, 1923". Office of the Attorney General of Ireland. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
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